October 26, 2011
At first, many recipients of social security benefits were overjoyed when they learned that the Social Security Administration (SSA) had announced a 3.6 percent increase in payouts beginning next year as part of a cost of living adjustment (COLA). With an increase in Medicare costs though, and a bleak future for the social security program as a whole, many people are questioning if the increases will do any good.
According to FOX 19 News, the 3.6 percent increase means an estimated $30 billion additional dollars will be paid out to the millions of retirees and beneficiaries in the country. This sounds like a big number, but only equivocates out to about an extra $39 per month for someone receiving social security checks, and only an additional $18 per month for those with Supplemental Security Income. While this seems great on the surface, the majority of this newly allotted money will be eaten up by the government’s increase to Medicare Premiums. This is not the only problem that has Americans casting shadows of doubt on the system.
It has been estimated that the program may not have the budget to survive to the next generation of retirees without benefit cuts or tax increases. Also, higher unemployment rates in the country means that less people are paying into the system. In other words, the program is spending more money than it can bring in, and will eventually dry up.